Niagara Gazette

Local News

November 4, 2013

Crowded field vies for three Niagara Falls City Council seats


Niagara Gazette — Andrew Touma, 45, is the dean of students at LaSalle Preparatory School and holds master’s degrees in elementary education and administration and supervision from Niagara University. Touma and his wife Jocelyn have four boys - Alex, Ben, John and Michael.

Touma, a political newcomer, is a lifelong and Democrat and was the top vote getter in the four-way primary for three Democratic lines in the September primary.

On why he’s running:

“I am running for a seat on the city council because I am committed to changing the approach to government in Niagara Falls. We need to change from the confrontational “me versus you approach”, from the “if you disagree with me on one issue we cannot work together on any issue” approach, and from the “I’ll support everything my friends and allies want but will support nothing if I don’t like you” approach. This is the only way we can move forward on important issues such as economic development, or holding the line on taxes while growing our city and still providing those services our residents need and deserve.”

Russel Vesci, 46, has been a water board employee for 21 years. He has been married to his wife Pamela for 12 years and holds degrees from Trott Vocational High School and Niagara County Community College.

Vesci, a political newcomer, holds one of three Republican lines on the general election ballot and also holds endorsements from the Conservative and Independence parties.

On why he’s running:

“I’m running for city council because I hate what has been done to our city over the past 40 years, and as a former block club president, I am more than confident in my leadership abilities and my personal interaction skills.  Also, having worked on all of our city streets and in every neighborhood I don’t feel that any other candidate is more qualified than I to know what Niagara Falls needs from the ground up.”

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